A common question in conversation right now is, “What TV shows are you watching?” I’ve undoubtedly asked this to pretty much every friend and family member I’ve spoken to since working from home. It’s a nice distraction from all the negativity, fear and frustration in the news, and quite frankly, it gives us something to look forward to. Buckle up and let your mind transport you to all the destinations and restaurants around the world you wish you were going to this year! These have been our favorite food and travel TV shows to watch lately.
Our Current Favorite Food & Travel TV Shows
Gordon Ramsay is on an all-action adventure as he dives, fishes, forages and leaps out of helicopters in search of the world’s most incredible food.
It’s funny, it’s adventurous, and well, we just love anything and everything Gordon Ramsay! Remember when we saw him in London (best day ever)?! Guided by local experts, he goes directly to the source to gather his ingredients for a meal he cooks at the end of the episode. His goal is to learn exactly what it takes to find and catch each component of his dish in hopes of giving justice to those ingredients and impressing his esteemed diners. Each journey is filled with challenges, conquering fears, and the drama and sense of humor we know and expect from Gordon.
Award winning cookbook author, host and executive producer Padma Lakshmi, takes audiences on a journey across America, exploring the rich and diverse food culture of various immigrant groups, seeking out the people who have so heavily shaped what American food is today. From indigenous communities to recent immigrant arrivals, Padma breaks bread with Americans across the nation to uncover the roots and relationship between our food, our humanity and our history – ultimately revealing stories that challenge notions of identity, belonging, and what it means to be American.
Initially I was drawn to this new Hulu original show because I’ve been a big fan of Padma from watching all 17 seasons of Top Chef. I soon came to appreciate the show for much more. It’s educational, entertaining, and showcases the exciting yet emotional journey of immigrants coming to America. More specifically, how they share their culture through their food as a way to connect with people here.
Available on Hulu.
Chef David Chang takes his insatiable curiosity about food, culture and identity on the road, in the convivial company of fun-loving celebrity guests.
There are only a few episodes so far, but it’s a fun one to watch. I look forward to seeing what celebrities he has on next, and where in the world they go!
Available on Netflix.
Top Chef offers a fascinating window into the competitive, pressure-filled environment of world class cookery and the restaurant business at the highest level. The series features seventeen aspiring chefs who compete for their shot at culinary stardom and the chance to earn the prestigious title of “Top Chef.”
We have binge watched so much Top Chef over the past few years, and the newest Season 17 All Stars was no exception! I loved this group of contestants and the finals. Ahh, take me back to Italy!
Witness the excitement and drama behind the scenes in the seven days leading up to major live events in the worlds of sports, fashion, space and food.
While this show is not specifically about food or travel, I highly recommend watching the Eleven Madison Park episode. In case you didn’t know, Eleven Madison Park is the No. 1 restaurant in the world located in New York City. The episode is about the race the staff and owners endure to reopen after extensive renovations with, of course, the highest of standards. Super fascinating!
Available on Netflix.
Older Food & Travel TV Shows I Still Enjoy
- Parts Unknown
- No Reservations
- Chef’s Table
- Conan Without Borders
- Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives
- Masterchef Jr.
Some non-food/travel shows we’ve been watching a lot of and/or enjoying lately include Blown Away (a great new show on Netflix about glass blowing), The Morning Show, Antiques Roadshow, Alone, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Frasier, Cheers, Seinfeld, Monk, and The Bold Type. Random, I know!
Food & Travel TV Shows on My Wishlist
Actor Zac Efron journeys around the world with wellness expert Darin Olien in a travel show that explores healthy, sustainable ways to live.
Ever since we saw Zac Efron’s recent Hot Ones episode (where he promotes and talks about the show), we were intrigued. He was surprisingly really cool and down-to-earth. I’m a fan!
Available on Netflix
A behind-the-scenes adventure into the biggest annual sporting event on the planet: The Tour de France. The Queen of Performance Cooking, Chef Hannah Grant, takes you on her race within the race as she sources performance food for Australia’s pro cycling team, Orica-Scott. Hannah shows us exactly what it takes to perform at the edge of human endurance for 21 race days.
Available on Amazon Prime.
Some non-food/travel shows on my list to watch are Big Little Lies, The Shop: Uninterrupted, The Politician, Modern Love, Schitt’s Creek, Little Fires Everywhere, Lenox Hill, Insecure, and Normal People.
How To Support Restaurants Right Now
- Donate to the James Beard Foundation’s Open for Good campaign to help independent restaurants survive this crisis, rebuild better, and thrive for the long term.
- If you can dine out and feel comfortable doing so, tip generously and wear your mask any time you’re not seated at your table eating or drinking. This includes walking in to the restaurant, being taken to your table, going to the restroom, and leaving your table. Also, be respectful of the safety policies the restaurant has put in place, such as social distancing and temperature checks.
- If you can’t dine out or don’t feel comfortable doing so, consider takeout or delivery from your favorite places that offer it, and wear your mask when you retrieve it!
- Share positive dining experiences with your local friends, family, colleagues and social media followers. Many restaurants have gotten creative in adapting to these challenging times as a way to survive and continue supporting their staff. Those who are handling it well should be recognized and rewarded.
- Consider purchasing groceries from small, local shops or restaurants instead of supermarkets. I always encourage doing this pandemic or not, but the “little guys” need our help now more than ever. An example of one of the ways I’ve been doing this is ordering a bottle of wine with my restaurant take-out orders.
Any other shows I should add to my list? Do you have any additional suggestions to support the industry right now? Leave them in the comments below!